Trophyitis or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the PS3 Trophy System

PS3 Trophy Card

I’d been aware of XBox ‘Achievements’, a set of unlockable awards that you got by completing certain tasks in games, for some time when Sony announced their own version which were to be termed ‘Trophies.’

Myself and my friends greeted the news with a shrug in an Alan Partridge ‘revamped current news and affairs’ style:

“Why would that be of interest to me?”

“Surely that’s for kids.”

“I won’t be bothering with them.”

Only we changed.

Somewhere between the announcement and now, something clicked. Was it a general surge of opinion in favour of Trophies? Perhaps it was the ‘twing’ noise of a pop up confirming a trophy?

Regardless of how it happened it seems people have been infected with a very different T-Virus to the one that features in Resident Evil – ‘Trophyitis.’

I have a fairly low level case – I enjoy getting the trophies, the satisfaction at looking back afterwards: “oh yes, I’d forgotten I got 50 headshots” or “what a tough one it was to beat that last boss in under 20 minutes on Killzone 2” 😀 I’ll maybe check what trophies an upcoming game has but usually won’t go out of my way to try and get them all.

At the other end of the spectrum are the Indiana Jones’ and Nathan Drake’s of the trophy world, the guys who live and breathe for that rare beast – the *platinum* trophy.

A word to the folks who don’t know, the trophy structure is thus:

Bronze: awarded for menial tasks ‘oh you’ve opened a door’, ‘you shot 500 enemies’, ‘you found a secret room’ etc.

Silver: a bit tougher here. More likely to be ‘you killed 1000 enemies’, ‘you collected every weapon in the game’ and for a lot of games ‘you finished the game (on anything under hard difficulty)’.

Gold: Ah the gold trophy – awarded for beating great games on ‘hard’ or for completing bad games who just want you to stick with them til the end. Also awarded for generally near impossible/heroic/mental feats such as ‘you found all 250 pieces of intel’, ‘you completed the game just using the pistol’ etc

Platinum: the crème de le crème. Platinum trophies are awarded for getting every other trophy for that game. It’s like the trophy icing on the cake.

But surely it’s just an artificial demonstration of how much you play games? Is there really any pride to be had in having racked up hundreds of trophies?

I don’t think so.

I guess it depends on your point of view but personally I think it’s like any numbers based social activity. Take Facebook or Twitter for example – how many people are solely interested in how many friends/followers they have? It’s exactly the same with trophies.

The real pride comes not in number but the actual trophies you have. I would rather have a difficult trophy (say being an expert in one field) that not a lot of people have than 20 bronze ones that everyone has.

One of my friends is the next step up from me – having gone from not really being fussed to playing Call Of Duty: World At War on Veteran so he could get two Gold trophies. He ended up taking more than twice as long to finish the game as normal simply to secure that extra gold trophy.

I’m sure the sense of achievement was immense having struggled through the levels but for me personally I don’t have the time or energy to do that. I simply wouldn’t finish the game as my tolerance level peaks around the hour mark in levels.

I can understand the trophy buzz in some instances – my favourite ever trophy was the one that popped up on LittleBigPlanet because over 50 people had played my created level. I was pretty proud of that. (EDIT: The level is called Kitchen Kaper! by GregHorrorShow for those LittleBigPlanet players out there 🙂 )

I’ll keep playing through games and picking up trophies here and there but I think I’ll leave the trophy hunting to others!

This certainly isn’t a piece bashing peeps that collect trophies and I’ll be interested to see what comments you guys have and if you chase the platinum or are happy to pick them up as you go along.

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8 Comments

  1. A very enjoyable read!
    About the guy at the end… if he’s not enjoying CoD:WaW on Veteran and simply doing it for the trophy, then I think that’s bad. However, if he’s started going for that trophy and actually discovered a new part of the game to love, it can only be a good thing right?

    It’s hard to have a definitive viewpoint on trophies. Just like you, I don’t actively hunt them down but it’s great to have a truly impressive feat recognised. I’m happy to pick them up as I go along.

    Keep up the great blog! =]

  2. My friend said the 360 Achievements were stupid, once he heard the PS3 was getting them he liked them lol. He says that it adds something to the game, you actually play your games more to get achievements/trophies.

  3. Great blog, G-Man! Thanks for the mention (sort of).

    I’m the Call Of Duty: World At War guy! Jetsetnick is right – no-one should play games just for the trophies, but, provided you enjoy the playing experience, surely picking up a few added extras along the way isn’t a bad thing? Admittedly, I did choose to play CoD on Veteran because the number of trophies available in Normal were ridiculously few, and I thought, “if I’m playing it anyway, I might as well go for gold.”

    However, even though the game took me over twice as long to complete and was IMPOSSIBLY difficult, to the point of near frustrated suicide, I really enjoyed CoD:WaW. The sense of achievement in completing the game was immense – the fact I got two gold trophies for it was just a bonus really. In the end, I still only got 28% of the trophies and I certainly won’t be going back for the rest. It also made realise that I could play subsequent games on a harder level if I felt I wanted the additional challenge. As a result, I’m currently playing Killzone 2 on Veteran.

    Trophies are a nice touch that add another dimension to game-playing and can provide the gamer with a record of how well they did in a game (similar to the animal classification at the end of MGS4 – goddamn frog!) that they could improve on, if they so desired. But ultimately, trophies are inconsequential and should be merely seen as a bit of fun.

  4. Great read, thanks.

    As for me I usually play through the game paying no attention to the trophies, as I would hate for them to distract me or take anything away while playing. Then if I feel the need to get others or they interest me I will get them. I enjoy “completing” games but am not overly obsessed with him.

    I do think they give a game more re-playability, but would hate to use a guide/cheat my first play through just to make sure I get the trophies, part of gaming I enjoy is figuring stuff out on my own.

    Its just another form of competition which everyone enjoys.

  5. […] been creating? I’m not going to say anymore so that peeps who do want to play through (hello Trophyitis sufferers ) can do without me ruining the […]

  6. […] this day and age, with the continued spread of Trophyitis and a veritible banquet of trophies for replaying a game, I often feel like I’m in the […]

  7. […] bother unless you need the trophies (btw if you feel you need the trophies please also see Trophyitis to find out if you have the condition […]

  8. […] I’ve spoken many times about Trophies and the lengths some people will go to for a ‘ping’ in the top right hand corne…. […]


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